Explore the most popular river trails in Arapaho National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Trail closed until June 15th

Great and easy hike. Beautiful views everywhere!

Based off the previous reviews I had read, did this hike solo and enjoyed every minute of it. Traffic was light, only ran into a few people every now and then. Climbed down to sit on the rocks in front of the falls, but couldn’t initially figure out how to get back up the rocks back to the trail. Overall, can’t wait to hike again and looking forward to a nice warm day so I can wade in the stream to cool off. During the week is best too- hardy any traffic.

2 days ago

5/23 Couldn’t make it to the very end but the views are awesome. I will definitely be back in a month. With that being said there was a lot of trash along the hike, I collected as much as I could. After the first mile, on your left, there is a small clearing when you can see the river there is a ton of metallic confetti caught in the grasses. Spent an hour trying to get most of it. Help me out if you go on the trail and try and collect it so it doesn’t end up in our rivers or wildlife. Also plenty of people leaving there dog poop bags along the trail.

I typically do 10 mi hikes, so to me this trail is easy with a sprinkle of challenge. You get good scenery, little waterfalls, trees, wildflowers, and little rivers. I brought hiking sandals so that I could walk through the water and keep myself cool. The hike is the best when its cloudy. Theres also a place where you can overlook the mountain and its valleys about 10 mins in. The trail wasnt really busy, saw maybe 4 groups of hikers. One of my favorite quick hikes!

Hiked on May 12, 2018, and could not have asked for a better hike. Fitbit indicated it was longer than 4.2 but tt is a great hike, not that difficult.

There are few trails here, so you can explore quite a bit. There is cell service so you can open the All Trails app and see where you are. One path is wide and flat, good for running! Other paths have narrow trails in the deep forest, beautiful creek, and bluffs overlooking the falls, highly recommend.

Wonderful, easy to moderate hike! Falls are small but beautiful. Great for my pup as nothing difficult and not too long! Perfect for a short morning or afternoon hike!

Amazing hike! The views were beautiful and we even got to see some deer along the trail!

This is one of my favorite hikes and I plan to come back! The scenery is stunning, the trail is well maintained but still natural. The lake is kept quiet and peaceful and even though it’s busy I never felt crowded. We started to the left this time and the shady trees were perfect for the afternoon in September 2017. Highly recommend! Now I want to paddle board the lake itself. We also saw a juvenile moose in the marsh to the south of the trail near the parking area.

We saw 3 moose on this trip! It was fabulous! We started out left too with other hiker’s advice. The other side had more ice and snow. It was much dryer than 10 days ago. Right side did have some ice but not too much. The marsh lands on the back side of the lake were amazing. Found a nice log to grab a bite to eat on next to the river. There were several man made bridges to go over so good balance is required on some. It was a lovely trail. We will be back!

Went in 3.3 mi on May 17 -- conditions good with some snow patches and postholing but easy enough. The creek crossing at ~2.7 mi in was challenging though.

Great place to hike without having to make a valiant climb to reach a summit. Undulates for most of the way, with occasional rough footing but nothing that a novice hiker would be unable to accomplish. The view was great despite the moderate elevation and hiking next to the creek gives a good “naturalistic” feel. Great Frisco hike, conveniently located.

10 days ago

May 15. Very little snow; less than 1% left on the top part of the trail. You must hike until the end...the views are beautiful. Great place to have lunch. First 3.5 miles are all up hill. Enjoy. Instagram ec_boyd

12 days ago

I hiked grays to torreys and whent down Kelso ridge. it was covered in snow about 75 80% got off trail and post holed it back for cuple miles... ;) next time it's kelso.to.torreys to Gray's then out ..

the ridge is the best.. I did grays to Torres then down climbed the ridge super fun specially with all the snow up top and post holing on the way back :)) but hey who needs gear

12 days ago

Bring your yaktrax and poles to make your life easier during this time of the year. The lower section, for about 2 miles, has a nice pack and is pretty breezy. Once you get past the “1 mile to Lower Mohawk” sign, you will run into soft snow and deep post holes. I would definitely go early, when the snow is more stiff, if you plan on making it to Mohawk Lakes without snowshoes. Wasn’t able to make it past Lower Mohawk since I didn’t bring my snowshoes. It’s gonna be an awesome summer hike!! Looking forward to getting back on this trail.

13 days ago

We hiked this trail today. Was amazing! Still some snow up top and good hiking shoes needed for sure as some of the piles are still deep. Also some water crossing you will get wet if not careful. This trail is a lot of up up up for the first 3 miles. But it’s worth it. We didn’t actually see anyone else out there til we were on our way back, which is perfect for those of us that like the path less taken. Happy Trails!

Nice trail and enjoyed the falls. The only thing missing were nice vista views

15 days ago

Went on May 7 2018. We went clock-wise around the lake. The left side was a lot easier and drier. The right side still had snow on many parts of the trail. We saw many tracks (and scate) on the right side, I'm not an expert but several looked like moose & elk , but pointed out to my wife a couple in the soft mud looked like fresh bear tracks, which got my attention. Due to the many patches of snow still on the trail on the right side of the lake it was a lot harder walk. We never saw a moose while on the trail, but someone we passed latter told us they saw one right on the trail on the right side around the 4-5 o'clock position of the trail right after they passed us. On the walk back down the road from the trail head to the campground we saw a moose on the left side right where a stream or creak dumps into a very large Creek that makes a large bend next to the gravel road. It was a bull with no antlers. We watched him for about 15 min as he crossed the little stream and came towards the road eating brush along the way. The trail will be a bit easier in late spring, summer and fall, without the snow. Pay close attention to the signs at trail junctions, they don't always call out Monarch Lake Trail Loop by name, (they should), so make sure you're going the right way to stay on the loop trail. Bring snacks and water.

16 days ago

Awesome trail during the week! Little to no traffic and great picnic spots!

Went up 5/5/18, arrived around 1pm, the trail mostly dry with the occasional patches of snow at first. About 2 miles up you’ll see significantly more snow and might want to consider poles for stability, however we made it up just fine no yak traks or poles. Eventually the snow fall is too much and you’ll loose the trail, you can’t continue up to Gore Range. Easy to moderate hike, only two hours at most if you take your time and maybe detour a bit. Trail follows the river majority of the time, plenty of places to pull off and enjoy the views. Moderately trafficked, we only saw a hand full of people on the trail however the parking lot is small so it fills up fast. Great for all skill ranges and ages.

We parked right at the end of the road by the signs that point towards the lake. The trail was doable without snowshoes but we definitely wished we had them as we got to the top third or so of the trail. We sank up to knees and hips every 5 or 6 steps or so in spots. Windy at the top. Really beautiful! Will definitely go back his summer so we can see the water!

18 days ago

Excellent hike through pine forest opening up at the top in a meadow with mountains directly to the south and to the east. The incline is steady throughout and gentle enough to make the entire trip fairly relaxing, yet with enough climb to get the heart going! Snow patches are frequent after about 10,600 feet. Snowshoes weren't necessary, neither were spikes. Although I think the trip would have been a little more comfortable with some gators to help keep the feet dry. The end of the marked trail lands you in an area that would be ripe for further exploration, but we were short on time and so we headed back down after
a snack and a sit at the top. The way down was quite a bit sloppier than the way up as the afternoon sun encouraged more rapid snowmelt. The whole journey took us around 4.5 hours including a short break at the top.

Decent trail length (4.2 miles) and incline. We started the hike Sunday morning at 9 am and the parking lot was already filling up, but the trail wasn’t too crowded yet. The falls are still partially frozen with water flowing underneath the ice. There are great views from the Cliff Overlook trail, but there are places where the trail is a bit confusing and not clearly marked. I recommend getting an early start (9 or earlier) before the crowds show up. It took us about 2.5 hours with a small snack break in the middle.

19 days ago

Absolutely beautiful hike! We were originally looking for something mellow so we choose this trail because it was rated on here as easy, and I gotta say it should definitely be rated harder in the winter. In early April the entire trail is still packed with feet of snow, making it very tough to walk. We put in a good 7 miles on this hike, going past the meadow to the mohawk lake trail towards the Continental Falls. There's an amazing cabin some ways up, and from here we walked through knee deep snow all the way up to the top. Had we known what we were getting into, we would've brought snowboard gear to ride down, so many solid tree runs just waiting to be hit. Perfect backcountry riding! Will definitely be back next season to shred this majesty

19 days ago

The weather was great today! We hiked the trail in hiking boots which was a mistake! Please bring snow shoes. The trial is covered with 2-3 feet of snow and it is just warm enough that you sink through. Still, we had a great time laughing as we fell through the snow! Can’t wait to do it again later in the summer.

I loved this trail .. it was a awesome starter trail. I have only hiked a few times but this one wasn’t to hard and it was very easy to follow the trails !

24 days ago

Didn't make it all the way there but that's okay! Very pretty views. My buddy and I had a bit of a hard time finding the trailhead for some reason, but its in the middle of the picnic area to the right next to a no camping sign.

Snow is deep about 2 miles up. Already some dry sun drenched campsites around 1.5 miles.

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